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Corporate America’s diversity and inclusion falls short for black employees

Andy Uhler Dec 10, 2019
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Corporate America’s diversity and inclusion falls short for black employees

Andy Uhler Dec 10, 2019
Spencer Platt/Getty Images
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A new report from the Center for Talent Innovation, “Being Black in Corporate America,” has found that only 8% of people in corporate roles are black. And that African American millennials are more likely to drop out of the corporate world altogether.

Only four Fortune 500 companies have a black chief executive, down from seven less than 10 years ago, according to the report. Julia Taylor Kennedy, who helped write the report, said young African Americans are more likely to contemplate leaving their current job just to get out on their own.

“Twenty-five percent of black professionals are planning to start their own venture,” Kennedy said. “That’s a pretty high number, one in four, and it’s much higher than white professionals.”

And, she said, it’s not for lack of ambition. The study found that black professionals are more likely than their white counterparts to aspire to a top job.

Andre Perry, a fellow at the Brookings Institution, said the problem for businesses isn’t just losing out on talented black professionals.

“Corporations are missing out on not only the brilliance and intelligence of black workers, you’re [also] losing the perspective of the customer,” Perry said.

He said black millennials have more leverage than those that came before them to ask for more workplace advancement opportunities, and to leave if they don’t get them.

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